Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dsquared2: Twin gay brothers

Identical twin gay brothers Dean and Dan Caten, born with the surname Catenacci, are a Canadian creative design duo who are fashion designers. They are founders and owners of the high end international fashion house DSQUARED2.

DSquared2: not your grandmother’s runway show

Now in their late forties, Dean and Dan Caten say they started out by designing denim, because they weren't allowed to wear it when they were growing up. "Our Dad, like a lot of older people, thought denim is for poor people," said Dean in an interview. The twins were in a family of nine children, raised by a single father, a welder, in Toronto. They say their success in the fashion world is probably due to that modest background. "I think sometimes the less you have, the more creative you have to become," Caten said. "It's not having the things you want in the fashion sense. We didn't have great clothes growing up, and we didn't have fashion accessible to us."

DSquared is based in Milan, Italy, and it now has moved light years beyond denim, but the twin’s collections are still tinged with Canadian themes, Dan said. "Doing a collection, we start with a theme, and that gives us a point of departure – cowboys, matadors," he said. "We're telling a story. It's like making a short film. When it comes time for the runway, we have the set, the music, the lighting – will we make it rain or snow?"

Their clothing, the denim in particular, is a favorite among musicians like Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, and Madonna, who asked the duo to create more than 150 pieces for her 2002 Drowned World Tour. The design duo did the costumes for a recent Usher world tour, as well. The brothers opened their flagship store in Milan in 2007, complete with an exclusive Champagne bar, and subsequently launched locations in Capri, Kiev, Istanbul, and Hong Kong. In 2010, they were the hosts of Launch My Line, a design competition reality show on Bravo. They have launched a signature fragrance, have designed football team uniforms and have collaborated with Fiat automobiles. In 2009 they launched Dsquared for Sirius Satellite Radio's BPM Channel, and somewhere in there I forgot to mention that they have a designer line of sunglasses. Their products may be purchased in the U.S. at high retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and at select fashion boutiques. A link to their on-line shopping site is at the end of this post.

Dean and Dan, who divide their life/work between Milan and London, create their collections in Italy: “Born in Canada, living in London, made in Italy”.

“We are the two simplest people on the face of the earth. We have come from nothing, have made something, and we’re giving back to everything that we ever came from, everything that we support.”

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